Following the publication of the National Statisticians review of house price statistics in 20101, the current producers of official house price statistics2 have been in consultation regarding how best to take forward the review recommendations.
Following initial discussions, it was agreed that the current ONS HPI would be developed to become the measure that best meets the user requirements laid out in the 2010 review, mainly by expanding the coverage of the index to include cash sales data. The inclusion of cash sales would be carried out by using Land Registry data to supplement the current ONS dataset.
Analysis has shown that this proposed development would not meet the recommendations laid out in the review, namely the development of a joint, single, definitive UK house price index as, under this approach, each of the current departments would continue to produce their own indices in their current format leading to confusion for users.
Therefore, following agreement across the four producers of official house price statistics, it is proposed that a joint project is initiated to consider the development of a single definitive UK House Price Index from which official providers can report on their own areas of responsibility in a way that can be directly compared. This collaborative approach would allow the publishing of consistent HPI data at a national, regional and sub-regional level across the UK.
The first stage of this development is to consider how the current data sources and methodologies can be used to produce a single, definitive UK HPI that meets user requirements. It is expected that this initial analysis will take approximately three to four months at which time a more substantial note on the plans, methods and timetable for the implementation of the index will be published.
National Statistician’s Review of House Price Statistics
2 Land Registry, Office for National Statistics, Registers of Scotland and Department of Finance and Personnel, Northern Ireland